Driving Offences

Drink and DriveDouglas Mitchell gives you the specialist expertise you need for personal and commercial driving charges.  Whether you’re facing a drink driving charge, traffic violations or commercial prosecution - Douglas Mitchell can help.

It’s important to understand that the police must follow correct procedures to ensure there is sufficient evidence to obtain a conviction and your rights are protected in law. Douglas Mitchell will help you through the process to achieve the best possible outcome, depending on your circumstances.

Douglas Mitchell can guide you through the Court process by:

  • Promptly identifying defences that may result in your case being dismissed or withdrawn
  • Advising on the likely penalty if convicted
  • Providing a strategy to handle the case best suited your situation
  • Appearing on your behalf in Court
  • Seeking the least restrictive penalty at sentencing

Drink Driving Charges

The maximum penalty for first time offenders is 3 months prison or a $4,500 fine and a loss of drivers licence for at least 6 months.  The penalties for repeat offenders are far more severe.

Drink Driving charges include:

  • Driving under the influence of alcohol (also called DIC, Drunk in Charge, or Drink Driving)
  • Driving under the influence of drugs
  • Drink Driving causing Death
  • Drink Driving causing Injury
  • Refusing to give a blood sample

Douglas Mitchell can help you by defending the charges and if possible taking steps to minimise the likely penalty and avoid a driver’s licence disqualification if possible.

Driving Violations

Facing a charge for driving in breach of the Land Transport Act 1998 or related Acts and Regulations can result in your driver’s licence being disqualified for significant periods, which can extremely affect your life and work.

Driving charges include:

  • Careless driving
  • Dangerous driving
  • Reckless driving
  • Driving while disqualified
  • Sustained loss of traction
  • Failing to stop and ascertain injury
  • Logbook offences
  • Traffic infringements

Douglas Mitchell can help you by defending the charges and if possible taking steps to minimise the likely penalty and avoid a driver’s licence disqualification if possible.

Commercial Prosecutions

For a commercial transport operator, owner or company, being convicted of a transport offence or facing a civil claim can have devastating effects on your income stream.

Commercial Charges include:

  • Road User Charges
  • Log Book Offences including Driving Hours
  • Passenger Service Vehicle Licence breaches, endorsements and appeals
  • Heavy Motor Vehicle Regulations
  • Vehicle Loading
  • Dangerous Goods
  • Carriage of Goods Act Claims
  • Dispute Resolution of Cartage Contracts

Douglas Mitchell has represented numerous transport operators including transport companies, fleet operators, owner drivers, employed drivers, couriers, taxi proprietors and freight forwarders with alleged breaches of transport laws and regulations.

Negotiating Sentences

If the charge you face cannot be defended or defence would not be worthwhile, or if your defence is unsuccessful, Douglas Mitchell can help to achieve the least restrictive sentence for you.

For prosecutions against individuals this may include avoiding a driver’s licence disqualification by obtaining:

  • Discharge without conviction - where the consequences of a conviction are out of all proportion to the offending
  • A community work sentence instead of a licence disqualification
  • A higher fine amount

For prosecutions against companies this may include:

  • Keeping the fine to a minimum by engaging in a restorative justice programme and taking pro-active steps to prevent the offence occurring again.

If a disqualification or fine is unavoidable then Douglas will seek to achieve the minimum disqualification and / or fine for the circumstances.

Obtaining a Limited Licence

A limited driver’s licence also known as a work licence, allows you to drive even if you have been disqualified or suspended from driving.
A limited licence is available if your disqualification or suspension would cause extreme or undue hardship to you or another person. For example, where you would lose your main income source, or where you have a disabled relative who relies on you to drive them.

Situations in which an application may not be available include:

  • You have a 28-day licence suspension for excess speed or alcohol
  • Your licence was suspended or revoked on medical grounds
  • You are indefinitely disqualified because of repeat alcohol or drug driving offences
  • You are disqualified for driving while already disqualified or suspended

Douglas Mitchell can prepare the necessary documentation to ensure your specific needs and requirements are covered. The limited licence application will need to be heard in court and Douglas will personally appear with you.


Douglas Mitchell can usually determine at the consultation the likely costs involved for most prosecution cases and will be prepared to provide services for an agreed fee. In more complicated cases and trials Douglas Mitchell invoices at an hourly rate for time spent, ensuring you receive regular invoices so that you fully aware of costs incurred.

Need advice, need help?
Talk to Douglas Mitchell first: 09 213 9666 or 021 900 803